Welcome to a New Academic Year

Christina Brogdon, Vice President of MSU Human Resources

Dear Spartan Colleagues,

I am pleased to welcome everyone to a new academic year. The fall semester always provides a sense of newness and hope. As we look forward to the new opportunities that lie ahead, we will undoubtedly reflect on the past and what we experienced together—successes and challenges, joys and tragedies. It’s important to remember that healing is not linear, nor is it quick, but I am grateful that we have each other for support through it all.

This fall, I am especially excited about HR’s opportunity to invest further in talent management, a key contributor in making MSU HR a thriving, transformative and engaged business unit implementing strategic people solutions with great care. The first is New Hire Orientation for support staff, with sessions starting this month. The innovative full-day program will transform how we welcome and support new employees at MSU. The program will cover essential topics such as employee benefits, payroll, information technology access, and RVSM. These sessions will foster a sense of belonging and empowerment while advancing MSU’s 2030 Strategic Plan in Staff Success and DEI.

I am also excited for HR’s new Director of Talent, Sherri Reese! This role is new to HR and was developed in response to the Strategic Plan’s objective for the university to become an employer of choice. Beginning October 1, Sherri will be responsible for the oversight, organization and implementation of strategic talent management initiatives related to recruitment, onboarding, consultation, and workforce planning. She will help lay the foundation for the future development of a robust Business Partner approach. Business partners will better support unit HR needs by collaborating and advising on all aspects of talent acquisition and management.

Thank you for your continued dedication and Spartan Will to the University, our students, and our land-grant mission. On behalf of Human Resources, I wish you a safe, healthy, and successful academic year in which you take advantage of fresh opportunities and new beginnings.

Go Green!

Christina Brogdon, PHR
Vice President of Human Resources

Your Benefits: New Year Checklist

For benefit-eligible employees, the start of a new year is a great time to review all the benefit options available to make sure you’re fully utilizing them throughout the year. The following list of tips and resources to consider will help you get the most out of your employee benefits:

  1. Schedule Wellness Check-ups: if you’re enrolled in an MSU health, dental, and/or vision plan, you’ve just entered a new plan year. Even though an annual check-up is usually recommended by doctors, many people miss out each year because they forget to schedule an appointment. Set your family up for success by scheduling any annual or wellness check-ups now.
  2. Prepare for Illness: Teladoc is an online medical care service that gives you 24/7 access to a health care professional via web, phone, or mobile app in minutes. A doctor can even write you a prescription if necessary. Enroll in Teladoc now so you’re prepared when illness strikes. Available to employees and their dependents that are enrolled in an MSU health plan.
  3. Review Retirement Contributions: the IRS sets new retirement contribution limits each year. Make sure you’re saving as much as you can by reviewing the 2023 IRS retirement contribution limits and make adjustments if needed.
  4. Note Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Deadlines: if you’re enrolled in an FSA for the 2022 and/or 2023 plan year, please note important deadlines and resources for utilizing your FSA funds.
  5. Use Educational Assistance Funds: support staff and academic specialist employees have access to educational assistance funds to use towards professional development opportunities. These funds reset each fall, so make sure you don’t miss out. If you’re looking for learning opportunities, we recommend checking out courses offered by HR’s Organization and Professional Development department.
  6. Note Mental Health Resources: the MSU community offers a variety of mental health resources to employees and their dependents.
  7. Save Caregiver Resources: the MSU WorkLife Office has an extensive list of resources for caregivers. Bookmark this page so you’re prepared when you need it.
  8. Schedule Vacation/Personal PTO: taking time to rest and reset is important to maintain mental health. Make sure you’re using all your PTO by planning out and scheduling your time off in advance.
  9. Employee Discounts: Visit the MSU Benefits Plus website for deals and discounts on everything from travel and experiences to electronics and toys. Additional discounts can be found on the MSU Human Resources website.
  10. Voluntary Benefit Options: you may enroll in, change, or cancel auto, home, and pet insurance benefits at any time through the MSU Benefits Plus website. Legal, critical illness and vision insurance only allow benefit changes during Open Enrollment in October.
  11. Register for Free Diabetes Management Program: if you or a dependent are living with diabetes, Livongo by Teladoc Health can help by providing free necessary medical supplies and optional coaching. Employees or dependents enrolled in Medicare are not eligible.
  12. Get a Second Medical Opinion: if you are facing a serious medical diagnosis, Teladoc Medical Experts can review your case and offer a second medical opinion from leading health care specialists. Coaching and online educational tools are also available. Employees with mandated insurance under the ACA are not eligible.

We hope this list will help keep you on track as you plan out how you and your family will use your employee benefits this year. You can learn more about these benefit options on the HR website.

HR Welcomes Colleagues and Students Back to Campus

Dear Spartan Colleagues,  

As your new Chief Human Resources Officer, I am pleased to welcome faculty and staff to a new academic year. We spent the last two years facing unprecedented challenges of the global pandemic and being vigilant in our efforts toward employee wellbeing, health, and safety. Spartans met these challenges with great care, resilience, and Spartan will. Let’s continue to work through this together and be sure to utilize available resources. The Wellbeing at Work guide, the Employee Assistance Program, vaccine verification, exemption forms, and more information can be found on the Together We Will site. 

In preparation for our largest student enrollment, we look forward to seeing you back on campus while employing flexible work options. Herein lies our next challenge of navigating paradox and competing priorities. The future of work involves innovation, agility, and commitment to excellence. We strive to balance instructional imperatives, business operations, and new work modalities including hybrid and remote schedules. We prioritize employee and student engagement and promote equity and fairness while addressing individual needs. I have every confidence in our campus community to tackle this challenge. Take some time and read our mission, values, and strategic plan for inspiration and guidance: 

By 2030, we envision a Michigan State University that has significantly expanded opportunity and advanced equity, elevated its excellence in ways that attract vital talent and support, and has a vibrant, caring community. – MSU 2030 Strategic Plan

I look forward to my first fall as a Spartan—enjoying Michigan State’s gorgeous campus as the colors set in and students arrive with renewed energy and excitement for everything it means to be part of the Spartan community.

Thank you for your continued work and dedication to the University, our students, and our land-grant mission. These are challenging times, but Together We Will. We wish you a safe, healthy, and successful academic year. 

Go Green!

Christina K. Brogdon, PHR
Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
Michigan State University

Employee Discounts to Support your 2022 Resolutions

Another new year means new resolutions, and MSU Benefits Plus wants to make those goals and tasks more achievable than ever. Below, you can learn more about these exclusive health, wellness, and other helpful discounts for MSU employees and start your journey to a happy new year today!

To access all of these discounts and more, login to MSU Benefits Plus today. If you haven’t used MSU Benefits Plus previously, register using your ZPID number (located on your Spartan Card ID badge or in EBS). 

Exercise and Mental Health:

  • Zeamo – On Demand workouts and fitness classes from top fitness brands and instructors – select free workouts and get 50% off your first month of gym and studio access with promo code 50OFF09.
  • Fitbod – Workouts that improve as you do by studying your strength and training ability, all from your phone – 25% off membership with promo code CORE.
  • Calm – 57% off of a one year subscription for the Apple App Store and Google Play Store’s most popular mental wellness application ($29.99 instead of $69.99).


  • LMT Club – A free membership to the exclusive Last Minute Travel club (a $50 value), a website created so you can get the best deals on hotels and other travel needs.
  • Tickets at Work – Find deals of up to 60% off hotels in tons of destinations using this exclusive link.


  • Turbo Tax – While it’s no one’s favorite part about the new year, get a little more excited about filing your taxes by saving up to $20 using the link found on the MSU Benefits Plus website.


  • Spartan Bookstore – If you are looking for books to learn something new or just to enjoy some reading, visit the Spartan Bookstore for 10% off new and used books with your faculty/staff ID.
  • Walden University – The new year is the perfect time to gain some new knowledge that can support you in your career. Receive10% off your tuition for bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs at Walden University with this link.


  • Apple – Get ready to get the best deals if you choose to spend your holiday gift money on new Apple products because MSU employees get exclusive pricing through the Employee Purchase Program using this link.
  • Dell – Ready to upgrade your workspace in 2022? Get the best prices from Dell’s Work from Home Bundles with Member ID PS113067902.

The HR website also offers other deals you can find on-campus through the MSU Tech Store, MSU Bakers, and the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center, among others. You can check out some of those deals through the MSU HR Website.

For more information on discounts from MSU Benefits Plus, visit the HR website. If you have any questions about the discounts, please call MSU Benefits Plus at 888-758-7575.

Register for an Upcoming Virtual Professional Development Course!

Whether you’ve jumped into the new year with a list of goals to work on or need a little inspiration, HR Organization and Professional Development (OPD) has a variety of online, live courses to help you. Find a list of upcoming courses sorted by topic below.

Additionally, OPD wants to know your training preferences for the upcoming year. Complete this short questionnaire to help us ensure we’re best meeting your learning and development needs.

Business Analysis

Promapp, Interactive Process Creation – February 2 
Learners will continue their process improvement journey and build upon the knowledge and skills learned in Introduction to Process Mapping


Conflict Management and Non-Escalation: Train the Trainer – Starts January 19 
The goal of this course is to prepare participants to be able to provide instruction on the Vistelar proven methods to help others address the challenges of dealing with conflict and crisis. 

Crucial Conversations – Starts February 8 
Learn how to hold crucial conversations – where emotions and stakes are high and opinions vary. 

Finance and Accounting

Vendors in KFS – February 22 
This class will cover the various types of vendors in KFS and when to use them, how to add and edit a vendor, including documentation required, and tips on searching for a vendor.  

Human Resources

Certified Human Resources Specialist – Starts February 1 
In this five-class series, you will acquire an extensive set of reference materials and resources while building your professional HR network. 

Mitigating Bias in Hiring – February 10 
Learn about best practices and procedures for reducing potential bias in the screening and interview process and obtain tools for increasing understanding and self-awareness. 


Engaging Teams for Maximum Performance – January 25 
Learn methods of building trust, setting goals and providing feedback to help enhance employee engagement and working relationships. 

New Leader Development Series – Starts January 18 
Apply now  to join the next cohort of the new, nine-session NLDS. Kicking off January 18, this program equips new leaders with a toolkit of crucial knowledge and resources. 

Strategic Planning – February 17 
Participants will gain a foundational base for implementing strategic planning in a unit.


Building Cohesive Teams – January 26 
Learn methods for building collaboration within a team and skills for influencing team performance. 


Records Management and Retention at MSU – February 23 
Learn the rules, regulations, and strategies to help manage university records. 

Professional Development

Creating and Sustaining a Positive Workplace – February 15 
This course provides humorous insight into the seven habits of negativity, including tips to stop gossip, techniques for getting along with others, and strategies to reap the many benefits of a positive and engaged workforce. 

Everything DiSC®: Behavior Styles at Work – January 27 
Learn how to build more effective working relationships based on an understanding of different behavioral styles. 

The Power of Habit – February 16  
Learn how habits are created and how to replace undesirable habits with productive ones. 

Ready, Set, Change! – January 26 
This interactive and engaging course is appropriate for anyone responsible for implementing and guiding change in their organizations, such as leaders, project managers and their team members, HR professionals and more. 

You can find all the current virtual Organization and Professional Development courses on the HR website. Class enrollment is completed within the EBS Portal. Employees may use available educational assistance funds towards course fees (if any). 

HR Wishes Everyone a Safe Academic Year

Dear fellow Spartan colleagues,

Normally at this time of year, we welcome many of our faculty members back to campus and wish everyone a successful academic year. The landscape of this year’s fall semester looks much different, as we find ourselves still in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. 

For many of you, there will not be a return to campus this semester as you continue to work and teach remotely. Others of you have continued working in-person on campus or are preparing to return to a much different environment than the one you left, to campus with far fewer people than usual, wearing your masks and maintaining social distancing.

We continue to work closely with members of the HR Subcommittee of the Reopening Campus Taskforce to provide guidance to units and colleges as they work through their reopening plans. New questions and challenges arise daily, and while we are doing everything possible to address and anticipate these items, we need your feedback to help identify areas you have concerns over or gaps we need to focus on. You can submit your feedback here(anonymously if you wish). We also encourage you to continue to visit the Together We Will website for the latest information for you as a staff or faculty member and the MSU HR website for coronavirus information and resources for employees and departments.

As we continue to focus our efforts on how to ensure your health and safety-related to your work at MSU, it is also important for us to continue to move the University forward. The pandemic has revealed in greater measure areas where more work must be done; one of those areas is related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Both President Stanley and Provost Woodruff have identified DEI work as priorities in their leadership agendas. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the DEI Plan outlined on the President’s website, as well as Provost Woodruff’s letter of greeting to the campus community. 

On behalf of MSU Human Resources and Academic Human Resources, we want to thank each of you for your continued work and dedication to the University, our students, and our land-grant mission. These are challenging times, but Together We Will. We wish you a safe, healthy, and successful academic year.


Sharon E. Butler
Associate Vice President
MSU Human Resources

N. Suzanne Lang, PhD
Interim Associate Provost and
Associate Vice President
Academic Human Resources

Accomplish Your 2020 Goals with Help from MSU HR

We’re officially one month into the new year! Have you made resolutions that are becoming more difficult to keep each day? If so, don’t worry, you are not alone. In fact, 80% of New Year’s resolutions begin to fizzle out by February (Psychology Today, 2018). Here at MSU HR, we want to encourage you to keep going by identifying resources right at your disposal to make keeping your resolutions a bit easier.

Work/ Professional Life:

We often have work or career-related goals that may include enhancing leadership skills, improving communication, increasing knowledge, etc. Discover resources offered through MSU to support you in your professional development:

  • Attend Organization and Professional Development (OPD) courses to enhance your leadership skills and aid in career development. Find a variety of OPD courses offered here.
  • If you’re a support staff employee, be sure to use your Educational Assistance funds for career development opportunities such as OPD courses, attending conferences, and so much more. Learn more about your Ed Assist benefit here.


It might come as no surprise that the most common (and most commonly broken) New Year’s resolutions are centered around health and wellness (Time Magazine, 2012). Below are benefits and resources you can utilize as an eligible MSU employee to help maintain a healthy lifestyle.

  • Take a trip to your doctor and stay up-to-date on your health! Get your annual physicals, eye exams, and check-ups.
  • Check out MSU Health4U courses! From learning how to cook quick and healthy meals, to participating in active stretching, MSU Health4U offers a variety of health and wellness programs. Click here to discover more.
  • Utilize discounts at local gyms offered through MSU Benefits Plus. Receive 5-20% off at various locations including LA Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness, Anytime Fitness along with regional chains, local gyms, and specialty studios. Log into MSU Benefits Plus to discover ways to save!
  • Prioritize your mental health! MSU employees and their adult dependents who are currently enrolled in an MSU health plan have access to behavioral health services offered through Teladoc. Find support and receive 24/7 access to a healthcare professional conveniently online. Find more information on Teladoc and how to use it here.

Money and Savings:

Money is another common resolution topic amongst Americans. Saving money is often linked to less stress because it allows you to be more prepared for changes in life and may give you the flexibility to spend your money on your own terms (Refresh Financial, 2019). Learn more about MSU benefits that promote financially responsible habits:

  • If you enrolled in a flexible spending account for this year, utilize those funds for eligible expenses such as band-aids, shoe insoles, and aspirin! Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) help you save money by allowing you to use pre-tax dollars to pay for eligible expenses. Participants save an average of 30% on eligible expenses. Discover various items you can use your FSA funds at the FSA Store. You can also learn more about FSAs on our website here.
  • Put more towards retirement! Consider taking advantage of compounding retirement savings that will end up saving you more in the long run. Learn how compounding works and discover various retirement plans here.

Sticking to New Year’s resolutions may not be easy, but with these tips, we hope that you continue to see your goals as possible. Questions? Contact HR Solutions Center at SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu or 517-353-4434. Find more information about MSU-related benefits and resources on our website hr.msu.edu.